Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The Dog Ate my Post!

Well not really, but I certainly felt like I was off to school without doing my homework come Monday when I had no post to share!  I just haven't been able to get my shit together this week to get something written.  I'm a grown up and my own bloggy boss...so I'm not going to sweat it!

I have been a busy bee the last week, we got loads of decorating done, we even committed to a colour, I have been to the gym a couple of times, I have worked a couple of very long days at the day job and have been cooking fresh and healthy food very night.  So I'm taking those wins even though I have no post this week. 

I think the moral of the story, is this is my second job, and to find it fun, I first need to stop calling it a job, as this misses the point of why I started this little venture in the first place, and to stop stressing if life gets in the way!


Monday, 17 February 2014

Guilty Pleasure, Vintage Treasure!

I really don't know what is up with me and writing about the bathroom, but I'm just not feeling it and putting together a post is taking an age!  Odd, as it does look fantastic (even if I do say so myself) and is the most finished room in the house.  I'll get there at some stage, so keep your eyes peeled for when the mood strikes me!

This weekend has been a bit of a bust, the DIY gods have been against us two weekends in a row!  Last week the DIY place was closed due to flooding, and this week the gas guzzling 4x4 (that the lengths of crown moulding, picture rail and skirting fit into) died!  To add insult to injury, this is right after its very expensive annual service that was done on Thursday / Friday!  

Basically, my entire Saturday was wasted faffing about, talking to the garage and the recovery service, and the car insurer, several times each, and then driving a gazillion mile round trip following the husband in the broken car to get it back to the garage and then drive him home!

Now, onto business, and instead of sharing my undying love for the husband, and the nice evening we had on Valentines day, I am going to share my love of second hand furniture.  

This is the last vintage haul that I scored at the end of summer.  I am currently on a charity shop hiatus as I have so much stuff already waiting to be refinished and no time to get it done, that if I brought any more home I would officially be the crazy hoarder lady, plus my parents would not be best pleased as most of my stuff is cluttering up their garage.

Behold my absolute bestest most favourite thing I have found so far…a mid-century teak and glass drinks trolley!  Again, this isn't styled at all, hence the thermostat, a candlestick I found on sale at the supermarket, and the Christmas reindeer that still needs to go in the loft.  I basically dumped all our booze on there that didn't have a home since we sold our sideboard a few months back and called it a day!

Bar Cart, Drinks Trolley, vintage, mid-century modern bar cart
Is it cocktail hour?  Yes, always!

Eventually, it will look like some of these, as I plan to channel Mad Men with vintage soda syphons and martini glasses!  I'm sure I'll get to it eventually, I was going to go bold with the colour, but it is pretty good condition, so I might just rub it down and put some teak oil on it, as it matches my vintage mid-century coffee table which is also teak.  

Next up is another wardrobe for the master, I managed to find one already, but I needed another one for the second alcove!  I plan to tie it in to the other one I have with paint and matching knobs on both.  it's a bit sad to look at in the below shot which I took in the charity shop.  

vintage wardrobe, mid-century modern wardrobe
Let's hope I can take this from drab to fab!

The damage for both items….a very thrifty £85, £60 for the wardrobe and £25 for the bar cart….Score!

Now, it's just a case of finding some time to get some of this stuff renovated and put into the house, freeing up some much needed room for more finds.  Exciting!  

Monday, 10 February 2014

Wash & Scrub Up: Planning the New Bathroom

This last week has been pretty great…I am back at the gym, after a very long break because of my back injury and before that, sheer laziness…plus we have done some painting, not a lot but a little.  We went to buy paint Sunday, but the local DIY store is totally inaccessible due to flooding…It's crazy down South, the constant heavy rain is causing chaos across the home counties.  My thoughts are with those who have been evacuated from their homes due to the severe weather. 

So to business…our lovely new bathroom!

After well over a year of showering (there was no effing way I was going to sit in the bath) in the worlds most disgusting downstairs bathroom, full of damp and mould with the occasional visiting slug, centipede and cheeselog, finally we have a new one installed upstairs and to date the room is about 90% complete.  The remaining 10% of a project always takes the longest and requires so much motivation to get done…Boo!

Here's the very depressing before, this used to be 'almost' a double bedroom, that the previous owners used as the master.  We already had this room re-wired and added recessed spots here, and had the ceiling replaced, re-insulated and re-plastered here and here.  The blue colour was horrible, and god only knows what that strip of poo coloured wallpaper around the middle was all about, complete with a Thomas the Tank Engine accent patch!  It had very cheap unfinished laminate flooring, and a disgusting textured ceiling.  Other than its size, which is fabulous for a big bathroom, it didn't have a single redeeming feature.

Yuck!  Nuff said!

We spent ages doing the due diligence, taking photos of schemes we liked from the Internet, in store at Ikea and pubs and restaurants.  We also went to some very fancy interiors places to see what was going on there.  

It was in one of these fancy places I fell in love with the most awesome shower tray from Bette, that looked like a wet room but it wasn't.  
Here's their fancy marketing shot of the range…haven't you just died and gone to bathroom heaven.  We loved the shower enclosure so much we were just going to have a giant shower with no bath at all, we vetoed that idea in the end though as our heads ruled, if we ever need to sell, it would be odd to have a family home with no bath.  We are going to have a low profile shower colour matched to the tile in the en suite we are planning in the loft conversion, so best of both worlds. 

Bette Bathroom

Then came the tiles….

Ikea Catalogue Metro Tiles with Dark Grout
More Metro Tiles in a Local Bar and Grill
Metro Tiles and Grey Grout in a Wine Bar

You can see a running theme here with the ideas I was gathering from out and about…I have a major obsession with metro tiles and spend a lot of time drinking wine in bars with great decor.  So we were decided on the metro tiles being the basis of our scheme, which was to give a nod the Victorian era, with a cleaned lined and modern twist.
To pick the fixtures and fittings we went down to our local plumbing merchant's showroom with our measurements and a rough floor plan to pick out what we wanted, we did a few trips and took loads of pictures to think about before we picked the final items to get them priced up.  Here's a sneaky peak at some of the shots and choices we made.  

Fancy Pants Double Sinks...
Two Way Shower, useful if you don't want
to wash your hair

To do the 'due diligence' we then got another quote from another supplier, as well as priced up each individual component online.

To order the same make and model equipment from different suppliers from various websites was the cheapest way to go, however getting everything from all over the country just seemed too risky…so we finally took the plunge and ordered the bathroom back in late May 2013 or there abouts.  Other than the Husband and I picking the fixtures and fittings, we left the rest of this project to the professionals.  The install was done by our great friend John, who is the don of kitchens and bathrooms, plus any other tricky job we have going on here at Casa Butler-Melton.  It was meant to be fitted at the end of June, but alas, it was put on hold as I was fresh out of surgery the week it was due to begin.    

We finally booked in fitting the bathroom to commence in late September, and allocated two weeks with John, it took three all in.  Luckily the vendor we picked was kind enough to keep the bathroom in their warehouse for all that time, plus we didn't actually pay for it until the end of August, so if anyone is local to Berkshire, PTS Plumbing were brilliant.

The fitting and reveal will be coming very soon, but lets just get down to the brass tacks and the project costs overall...

Towel Radiator £239.00
Spots, Sconces, switches and sockets covered here
Tiles, trim, grout and adhesive £431.85
Bath, taps, shower, sinks etc. £2,420.22
Extractor fan £55.00
Sundries, wood, extra trim, grout etc. £900.00
Labour Costs £2,250.00
Total: £6,296.07

That's all folks…I'll be back soon with the fitting and finishing!

Monday, 3 February 2014

I'm Loving....TK Maxx

My winter blues are officially over…I actually left the house for a change, which is a rare occurrence in the depths of winter, other than work, I generally stay indoors November through January.  I skulk about the house instead, enveloping myself in a fat duvet of stodgy winter fare, takeaways and chocolate.

I didn't do any of those things this weekend as it was actually sunny.  Sunshine is like my Prozac, so goodness only knows why I love the UK so much, as these British winters are just way too 'suck the life out of you' depressing!

As we were both full of the joys of spring we got loads of spring cleaning done, and some DIY that we were meant to do last weekend but didn't as we both had the plague.  All this activity means the bathroom post I was working on is not quite finished, so instead I thought I'd share some recent home ware hauls with you from TK Maxx and HomeSense (that's TJ Maxx and HomeGoods across the pond).  

There is nothing I love more than passing the time perusing their often bizarre, yet totally covetable stock.  I'm totally convinced BeyoncĂ© the Metal Chicken was indeed purchased at a HomeGoods store, now you can't get cooler or more bizarre than that now can you?  I truly believe the trick is to go often, same as charity shops, as you never know what you'll fine from one day to the next, I keep looking for my very own metal chicken, but alas, no joy!

I settled for some metal deer antlers instead, a total bargain at £14.99, considering this bad boy weighs a ton, and it's an amazing place to hang hats or necklaces, or both in my case.  This works perfectly with the theme I have in my head for our master bedroom, rustic woodland retreat with a modern twist.     
Deer Antlers
I'm horny!
The husband has a thing for hats!
Next up, I found these delightful little blighters, they are also metal, very heavy and substantial and a total steal at just £6.99 for a pair.  I simply couldn't leave these behind.  

I have been collecting Vintage furniture since I moved, to eventually get tarted up somehow for our newly decorated rooms, so how could I resist these 6 glass knobs for just £7.99, I have seen similar knobs for 3 times this price, so these babies had to come home with me.

glass cupboard knobs, vintage cupboard knobs
Shiny Knobs!

I also found this really on-trend grey storage box for just £5.99, can't wait to find this beauty a home, we shall see where this ends up!

Boxing Clever!
I got these beauties right before Christmas, it's such a shame I never actually got around to decking the halls this year as they match my usual go-to festive colour scheme of black and silver perfectly.  I'm going all-out next year I promise.  The reindeer was £12.99, is really sturdy and is about 30 cm tall.  The baubles were £2.99 each and are really cool mercury glass-esque.

Mercury glass baubles, christmas statue, christmas reindeer
What is it with me and horned things?

That's all folks!  There was so much more I had to leave behind as I had ran out of beans…I didn't take any pictures foolishly, so I can't share the amazing grey snowflake patterned argyle woollen comforter or the ginormous Christmas wreath made out of tiny jingle bells that I saw, I wish I'd bought them, credit limit be damned!

This shop feature-ma-bob has been percolating around the old brain for some time, and I was thinking to try to make it a regular thing, so here's hoping I can keep finding great stuff!

Till next time…Keep shopping! 

P.S.  If I lost you with the metal chicken reference…you must head on over to Jenny at the Blog
gess, just follow the link and this will literally make you cry with laughter, as will the rest of her blog.

P.P.S. These views are my own and TK Maxx and their affiliates don't know me from Adam!

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